NTSB Identification: CEN11CA638
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 29, 2011 in Menominee, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/03/2011
Aircraft: ENSTROM F-28F, registration: N228F
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, the purpose of the company test flight was to measure collective stick forces with the collective bias disabled. The pilot, who was the helicopter's only occupant, lifted the helicopter into a hover and then hovered clear of any obstacles. He reported that the collective controls were heavy, as expected, but the helicopter was very controllable. During his attempt to position a force gauge between his hand and the collective grip, the pilot lost control of the helicopter and it landed hard onto the ramp. The helicopter's tail rotor blades impacted the ramp and the helicopter came to rest upright. A postaccident examination of the helicopter showed that the tail rotor blades were bent and the tail rotor driveshaft was sheared. The pilot reported that he should have taken an observer or other personnel on the flight to assist while he concentrated on flying the helicopter.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the helicopter during a hover.

Full narrative available

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